What is forex trading? Why do individuals aspire to trade forex?
Forex trading is an activity that involves buying and selling foreign currencies also known as foreign exchange, forex or FX. Forex traders buy a currency and sell another concurrently. The objective of these trades is to close the position at a profit. The activity has a short term horizon as opposed to the long term investing in foreign currency. Because of the short term nature of forex trading, it is deemed by some as a form of speculation. Proponents of forex trading point out that there are high probability techniques and these techniques make forex trading highly profitable.
Forex trading is not a managed product. It is a ‘do-it-yourself’ activity by forex traders.
What does forex trading involve?
Buying and selling is done on a trading platform over the Internet. Trading platforms are provided by forex brokers. Buying and selling takes advantage of the daily price movement of currencies to make quick gains. To amplify gains, forex traders make use of forex leverage. Products that allow forex traders to trade with the use of leverage include Contracts For Differences or CFDs, futures and options. Because forex traders are driven by short term profit, they do not require contracts to be delivered but place emphasis on quick turn-around on the use of trading margin. This makes CFDs very popular for forex trading among individuals.
Forex trading is a growing phenomenon in Singapore among individuals. The number of forex trading regulated brokers given a Capital Markets Services license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to provide services for leveraged foreign exchange trading has increased 13 in 2006 to 23 in the beginning of 2013. See list of MAS-regulated forex brokers in Singapore.
Forex trading takes the current forms
Forex trading can be done on a personal device through the Internet. Mobile devices are popular as they allow full access to the trading platform. Trading activity can last as short as minutes in a form of trading called scalping. Longer durations are also possible as some traders hold a position of hours, days or weeks. It is not important for forex traders to differentiate between the various approaches to forex trading. Successful traders each follow a personalised plan that looks at various factors such as expectation of returns, risk tolerance, amount of trading capital, lifestyle and the trading instrument being used. It is essential for individuals to develop their own plans.
There are two general ways to approach forex trading: discretionary trading and system trading.
Discretionary forex trading
Discretionary trading is a decision-based trading approach where traders decide when to open and close a position as well as execute the order manually. It requires judgement from the individual. Many forex traders make trading decisions based on technical analysis although decision could also be made based on other cues. Technical analysis gives the discretionary trader a view of where the market is going based on indicators or market levels. Discretionary trading retains a high level of control for the trader. To succeed at discretionary trading, traders require a view of of the market as well as experience.
Forex system trading
System trading has many names such as mechanical trading, automated trading and algo-trading. The individual trader who adopts system trading employs software or pieces of code that are installed in other software such as MT4. These software are sometimes called trading robots or expert advisors. There are three key features of system trading:
- The trader delegates trading decisions to the expert advisors. An expert advisor determines when to open or close the trade and executes it on behalf of the trader as well.
- The second feature of system trading is that expert advisor does not act randomly. Decisions are rule based.
- New traders without the ability to determine market direction are adopting system trading. While there may be highly successful expert advisors, new traders are also led to believe that all expert advisors work.
What are the benefits of forex trading?
Forex trading is a very good source of alternative income. (See ‘Mother, Entrepreneur, Trader And A Stress Free Income‘) It enjoys the following benefits that make it very easy to adopt for individuals:
- Very little trading capital required to start since cost of trading is low and very little start-up deposit is required
- Market access is available around the clock since the global forex market operates 24-hours a day
- Trading platforms are virtually free
- Traders can use any device that grants the user Internet access to log in and trade
Besides trading for an alternative income, forex trading can be a form of diversification away from other investments such as stocks and bonds.
Forex trading scams
Forex trading is growing in popularity among individuals. This success has also led to the emergence of forex trading scams. Scams are likely to take the following forms:
- Unregulated brokers or bucket shops entice traders to deposit monies into trading accounts. However the bucket shops disappear after collecting money leaving the trader with no remedy. This type of scam by bucket shops are common in countries with weak financial regulation and little or no investor education.
- Internet vendors that tout super forex trading robots that can make 100% returns.
- Education providers that promise methods to trade the market with instant success or methods that have no risk.
Important to note:
There is no defence to forex trading scams except self awareness. If it is too good to be true, then there might be a scam involved. Investors should take note:
- Trade with regulated brokers (why is regulation for brokers important?). To check, visit the website of the regulator or look for a contact to call.
- There is no 100% product in the market. If you have been touted one, make sure that you pay a price that you can afford to lose and be prepared to lose it.
TerraSeeds Market Technician runs TerraSeeds Forex Tflow® – a discretionary forex trading course
TerraSeeds Market Technician Pte Ltd is an education provider. When you sign up with our TerraSeeds Forex Tfow® forex trading course you are signing up to learn a form of discretionary forex trading method. We teach you a method to form a view of the market and where the trend is. Market movement may be volatile and can change in a short time. We use a combination of methods including technical analysis – which is proven and has been around for 300 over years. It has high probability outcomes but is not 100%. To succeed at forex trading, traders need to be mindful of exercising risk management. Our TX Auto Alert Indicator is a learning instrument but it is not a trading robot. It is not a substitute to trading experience and sound judgement. Traders are reminded that like all skilled-based activity, there is no shortcut to experience and mastery.
There are no guaranteed outcomes nor instant riches.
Latest posts by Soh Tiong Hum (see all)
- Another example of a forex relative strength overlay - February 16, 2017
- Stock sectors all boom and no gloom; how to use heatmap - February 16, 2017
- How Singapore’s GDP compares to China’s ’1 trillion RMB club’ - February 9, 2017
- Time-tested technical reason stock indices did not collapse yet - February 9, 2017
- Things you might not know about these 4 stock market indices - February 9, 2017